The Story Behind the Paintings Before Stranger Love

11 years ago, I stepped into a vast wilderness, beginning work on Stranger Love — a 6-hour operatic voyage into the stars, which was a journey that would take over a third of my days on earth — without the faintest idea how it could ever exist, turning my life fully and inexorably towards a single beautiful dream, the best thing I could ever imagine. Across those more than 4000 days, Stranger Love was the gravitational force acting upon my every minute — a voyage both unimaginably joyous and unimaginably difficult, immersing me in a unique happiness, creating what I know to be the best thing of which I’m capable, and an inundating anxiety, in being able to see what it would feel like if I were never able to share this.

In the final days approaching the premiere, which felt so miraculously extraordinary and so fragile, that anxiety of having given myself so completely to this single thing for so long had grown to a roar. So with 129 days left, I gave myself a new project: to create a painting every day until Stranger Love was born, a counterbalance to anxiety, a place to go each day to focus on light, shadow, and a reminder of the beauty of the world in every direction. Over that time, the paintings themselves became a window into the experience of the journey, its vastness and its joy, a way to see how so much time consists of so many tiny moments, individual brushstrokes and glances at the sky which build a world.